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Suriname Country Guide

Explore Suriname in South America

Suriname with the capital city Paramaribo is located in South America (Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 163,270 square kilometres (slightly larger than Georgia) with 475,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Suriname

The landscape offers mostly rolling hills with narrow coastal plain with swamps. The average density of population is approximately 3 per km². The notable climate conditions in Suriname can be described as tropical with moderated by trade winds. Potential threats by nature are NA.

To reach someone in Suriname dial +597 prior to a number. There are 83,700 installed telephones. And there are 763,900 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900/1800 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".sr". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 127V - 60Hz.

About the flag and history of Suriname

Suriname Flag Icon

Five horizontal bands of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white, and green (double width); a large, yellow, five-pointed star is centered in the red band; red stands for progress and love; green symbolizes hope and fertility; white signifies peace, justice, and freedom; the star represents the unity of all ethnic groups; from its yellow light the nation draws strength to bear sacrifices patiently while working toward a golden future.

First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of African slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government - a four-party coalition - returned to power in 1991. The coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005 and ruled until August 2010, when voters returned former military leader Desire BOUTERSE and his opposition coalition to power.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: South America
Neighbours: Guyana, Brazil, French Guiana
Capital: Paramaribo
Size163,270 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 63,038 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Georgia
CurrencyName Dollar, Currency Code:SRD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).sr
Telephone Country Prefix+597
Mobile Phone Connections763,900
Landline Phone Connections83,700

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area163,820 (sq km)92

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population566,846 170
Population growth rate1.15 (%)102
Birth rate17.10 (births/1,000 population)115
Death rate6.15 (deaths/1,000 population)159
Net migration rate0.57 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)64
Maternal mortality rate130.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)63
Infant mortality rate27.99 (deaths/1,000 live births)69
Life expectancy at birth71.41 (years)145
Total fertility rate2.04 (children born/woman)123
Health expenditures7.00 (% of GDP)82
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.00 (%)46
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS3,700 123
HIV/AIDS - deaths200 104
Obesity - adult prevalence rate25.10 (%)60
Children under the age of 5 years underweight7.50 (%)74
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2421.50 (%)53


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)6,874,000,000 162
GDP - real growth rate4.50 (%)72
GDP - per capita (PPP)12,600 103
Labor force165,600 176
Unemployment rate9.00 (%)103
Taxes and other revenues17.40 (% of GDP)180
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.40 (% of GDP)90
Inflation rate (consumer prices)6.00 (%)158
Commercial bank prime lending rate11.75 (%)69
Stock of narrow money1,132,000,000 145
Stock of broad money2,300,000,000 148
Stock of domestic credit1,286,000,000 151
Industrial production growth rate6.50 (%)46
Current account balance577,200,000 43
Exports2,927,000,000 131
Imports1,838,000,000 166
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold1,048,000,000 135
Debt - external504,300,000 171


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production1,603,000,000 (kWh)141
Electricity - consumption1,463,000,000 (kWh)146
Electricity - installed generating capacity389,000 (kW)146
Electricity - from fossil fuels51.40 (% of total installed capacity)155
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants48.60 (% of total installed capacity)43
Crude oil - production16,000 (bbl/day)76
Crude oil - proved reserves72,000,000 (bbl)79
Refined petroleum products - production7,407 (bbl/day)108
Refined petroleum products - consumption14,100 (bbl/day)147
Refined petroleum products - exports1,058 (bbl/day)109
Refined petroleum products - imports6,430 (bbl/day)145
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy2,343,000 (Mt)149


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use85,500 150
Telephones - mobile cellular947,000 156
Internet hosts188 202
Internet users163,000 146


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports47 93
Roadways4,304 (km)154
Waterways1,200 (km)59


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.20 (% of GDP)116

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Central Suriname Nature Reserve
The Central Suriname Nature Reserve comprises 1.6 million ha of primary tropical forest of west-central Suriname. It protects the upper watershed of the Coppename River and the headwaters of the Lucie, Oost, Zuid, Saramaccz, and Gran Rio rivers and c ...
Historic Inner City of Paramaribo
Paramaribo is a former Dutch colonial town from the 17th and 18th centuries planted on the northern coast of tropical South America. The original and highly characteristic street plan of the historic centre remains intact. Its buildings illustrate th ...